Mozambique prohibits legal recognition of polygamous unions, yet there are no legal restrictions against the practice itself, which has been reported to be quite widespread in the coastal country. It was estimated that over one-third of the married female Mozambican population is in a polygamous relationship, though only the first wife in the union is legally recognized and entitled to protection based on Mozambican marriage laws. A CEDAW report found that the Mozambican government had amended the law to provide equal inheritance rights to all wives of polygamous marriages.
Although polygamy is prohibited in Mozambique there is no punishment. Across the country nearly a third of married women are thought to be in polygamous marriages, according to a NORAD survey.